Interfaith Talk at the St Laurence Centre Library

Ruth Jacobs is a member of the Jewish congregation that worships at the Synagogue in Tyrrell Street, Newcastle. Ruth is passionate about her faith and she generously gives of her time to help others understand the Jewish faith.

Unlike the Christian faith, the Jewish faith does not evangelise. Ruth is simply reaching out to people of other faiths in an effort to make them understand what Jews believe. Ruth visits schools in our diocese to speak to the students about Judaism.

On Wednesday 10 May, Ruth joined the St Laurence Centre Library Bible study group for a Q&A session. Ruth spent two hours enthusiastically answering our many questions. We greatly appreciated her company.

This was Ruth’s second visit to the library to speak to the Bible study group. Following her first visit last year, the Bible study group was invited to attend services at the Synagogue. We were also treated to a guided tour of the Synagogue - when Ruth opened the Synagogue especially for us on a Sunday afternoon. We were privileged to view the Torah scrolls up close and we were allowed to pass around the Torah pointer. Religious apparel was modelled and the significance of religious objects was explained.  

In March this year, many of us attended Ruth’s talk at the Diocesan Interfaith Forum and later attended the service at the Synagogue. We were all made to feel extremely welcome and the service was inclusive of everyone.

Ruth has expressed an interest in keeping the communications channels open. The St Laurence Centre Library Bible study group looks forward to Ruth’s next visit. She is a great ambassador for the Jewish faith.

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Lora Murray

Lora Murray is the Resource Centre Librarian, Catholic Schools Office, Diocese Maitland-Newcastle.